By Tom Davidson
Herald Staff Writer
Four decades plus four years of one grateful alumnus’ philanthropy have netted Farrell Area School District $690,132.34.
Ted Pedas, a 1956 graduate who has put his money behind his fondness for Farrell schools, returned to the hallowed halls of learning, checkbook in hand, to make his annual donation to the district.
This year that donation totals $35,000.
“These annual donations have been given as a small token of appreciation,” Pedas said in this year’s 10-page report to the district, which includes specifications each year for how the cash is to be spent.
Pedas appreciates the education the district provided for him, his brothers Tom and George, and his sister Marcy Pedas Sigler.
That education enabled the family “as children of immigrant parents to make our way in the world,” he wrote.
“Each of us in our own way owes a debt of gratitude to our school, community and those dedicated individuals who paved the road for us,” Pedas wrote.
This year, Pedas is inaugurating a “student of the week” award for kids in grades seven through 12.
One student in each grade level will be chosen each week for 30 weeks, allowing the district to reward 180 students this school year.
Those honored will receive $20, and the staff will nominate students using these criteria: good deeds, improvement in behavior or academics, leadership, self-initiative, positive attitude, helpfulness, or some other reason not specified.
The high school principal will administer the awards, as directed by Pedas.
Pedas’ donation will also fund:
• High school and elementary school “student of the month” awards of $50 each for high-schoolers and $25 each for elementary students.
• High school and elementary school “student of the year” awards of $100 to one student in each grade level.
• Employee of the Month awards for noninstructional staff of $100.
• Employee of the Year $1,000 award for non-instructional staff.
• Citizen of the Year $1,000 award for an exceptional volunteer in the district.
• $1,000 for a model rocketry program.
• $16,950 for equipment, supplies and maintenance of the planetarium, which is named in honor of Pedas.
• $5,000 for the Farrell Alumni Hall of Fame.
Pedas also supports the district’s websites and inaugurated the Farrell Area School District Foundation, which he started in 1999 with a $25,000 donation.